Thailand to collect tourist fees from June 1
BANGKOK - The Thai cabinet today approved fee collections of between 150 (RM19.25) and 300 baht (RM38.45) per foreign tourist tentatively from June 1 to help fund the development and maintenance of tourist attractions, but included tourist insurance coverage as part of the fee.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Traisulee Traisaranakul said 300 baht (RM38) would be collected form visitors arriving by air while 150 (RM18) baht from travellers via sea, river and land borders. However, those holding Thai and diplomatic passports, work permits and special work permits (for specific professionals) as well as children under two years old and transit passengers will be exempted from paying the fee. "Besides that, same-day visitors are exempted too," she added. Thailand will be among the 40 countries in the world collecting entry fee from foreign tourists. However, Thailand is the first country to offer returns to to tourists through accident insurance and improvement to related tourist facilities. "The fee collected would be used to help further develop tourism industry. The fee is also an insurance for foreign tourists during their stay here. This is an effort to promote safe tourism,” she said in a statement. She added that Thailand shouldered medical cost between 300 (RM38 million) and 400 (RM51 million) million baht every year as foreign tourist too used services at public hospitals.
Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said the government is expected to collect about 3.9 billion baht this year.
Thailand reviewed its tourist arrival from initial 20 million to more than 30 million foreign tourists this year following the return of Chinese tourists.
Last year, Thailand welcomed 11.15 million foreign tourists, an increase from just about 428,000 in the previous year following strict COVID-19 travel measures. - BERNAMA